USA News Group - Health-care workers continue to sound the alarm regarding their work conditions while dealing with those hospitalized with COVID-19, especially pertaining to shortages of appropriate personal protection equipment (PPE). Recent surveys indicate that the PPE shortage crisis continues at most hospitals, which could potentially get worse as over half of the factories of the world's largest latex gloves maker, Top Glove, have halted production. In many markets, the PPE pipeline is still broken. However, several companies are working towards not only bridging the gap, but revolutionizing the entire system, including Maitri Health Technologies Corp. (CSE:MTEC) (FSE:D84), Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE:BRK-B), Honeywell International (NYSE:HON), 3M Company (NYSE:MMM), and MSA Safety Incorporated (NYSE:MSA).
Maitri Health Technologies Corp. (CSE:MTEC) (FSE:D84) was founded upon a critical and rapid response to a need for PPE at a hospital located in the Metro Vancouver, BC market. In just a few months, it's quickly and efficiently built out a global platform for healthcare supply security.
The company's unique business model provides a comprehensive offering of on-shore manufactured PPE, testing and technology. Maitri's platform is designed to deliver long-term, reliable, stable healthcare solutions to healthcare, governments and companies around the world.
Their story began when a group of influential business men and women in the region banded together to secure needed supplies for a hospital that was experiencing serious procurement issues. Very quickly the problem was identified, as many of the suppliers that popped up during the early days of the outbreak were of unknown reputation, with products of questionable quality.
Counterfeit and low-quality PPE continues to be a serious issue, as just recently $600,000 of counterfeit PPE made to look like N95 masks from 3M Company (NYSE:MMM) were seized at a warehouse in El Paso, Texas.
This wasn't the first scam that involved groups trying to imitate 3M. A pair of men from the Houston area were charged with attempting to fraudulently sell 50 million nonexistent 3M model 1860 N95 respirator masks they didn't possess. In Indiana, a similar scheme resulted in a civil lawsuit by the state's Attorney General Curtis Hill against a man and a corporation that allegedly conspired to defraud the state out of hundreds of millions of dollars, through an allegedly false connection to manufacturer, 3M.
Of course none of this implicates 3M in any way, as the company works diligently to ramp up its mask production to meet demand. But it's clear that enhanced supply chain integrity and security is desperately needed, and is an issue that Maitri Health is working to address.
After an initial supply donation was secured and delivered, the group became more formal, and assembled an expert team leading the way for what is now Maitri Health Technologies Corp. (CSE:MTEC) (FSE:D84)--with the most recent addition being former Chief Digital Officer of Bayer A.G., Jessica Federer.
The newly formed company immediately focused on distributing and growing a domestic supply chain for PPE, Anti-Viral Solutions, and Test Kits, for reliable transactions with countries and corporations in need.
Maitri's product platform currently includes 3D facial masks (surgical and non-surgical), and Win-Shield face shields, which feature a patent-pending design and additional personal protection.
Most recently, Maitri Health announced the addition of Envirocleanse-A disinfectant and Candid Clean sanitizer to their platform. Both cleaning and safety solutions are Health Canada-certified.
Envirocleanse-A, is a down-chain subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE:BRK-B), is a commercial disinfectant, registered with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Health Canada to kill SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19.
While non-toxic, biodegradable and doesn't require masks, gloves, nor other safety equipment to apply, Envirocleanse-A is 100x more effective than bleach. It's harmless to humans, animals and the environment and is Federal Drug Administration (FDA) acknowledged to be safe and effective for use directly on food and food contact surfaces.
"We were very selective in choosing a disinfectant for our product platform," said CEO of Maitri, Andrew Morton. "Many cleaning products are corrosive and damaging to tables, chairs, counters or other surfaces, and worse, potentially dangerous for users and the environment. Other disinfectants are complicated to mix or dilute. Envirocleanse-A eliminates all those issues."
Maitri also announced the availability of the Canadian-made, 75%-Isopropanol-based spray hand sanitizer, Candid Clean. The product evaporates quickly, does not dry out hands, comes in a variety of scents, and has shelf life of three years.
"Hand sanitizer is a key part of a safety routine and we're pleased to offer a superior solution that people will want to use," added Morton. "Candid Clean is gentle on the hands and strong enough to be used as a disinfectant."
Earlier this year, Berkshire Hathaway Inc. asset BYD (a world leader in electric vehicles, monorails, and batteries out of China) also entered the PPE supply chain, securing a $316 million order from California.
In the month of November, Honeywell International (NYSE:HON) shares surged 23.6%. While the company's other segments (aerospace, building technologies, and performance materials and technologies) all reported sales declines, Honeywell strategically shifted its focus to ramp up production of PPE kits.
The move has paid off, with an 8% growth in its Q3 sales from this safety and productivity solutions segment.
In terms of innovation, much like Maitri Health, MSA Safety Incorporated (NYSE:MSA) has announced its own proprietary technology to the market recently. Unveiling its new Elastomeric Respirator, MSA is providing an alternative PPE option, that provides a next-generation, air-purifying respirator (APR) designed without an exhalation valve to provide directly-involved healthcare workers with respiratory protection.
Because it does not include an exhalation valve, the new respirator serves as both a PPE solution, and as a source control to ensure a sterile healthcare environment.
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